Beyond Borders




Orghast Part II, 1971, Shiraz Arts Festival. Photo courtesy of the Archaeology of the Final Decade Archives.


Caligula, 1974, Kargah-e Namayesh – Persepolis, Shiraz Arts Festival. Photo by Mehdi Khonsari, courtesy of the Archaeology of the Final Decade Archives.


Mantra for two Pianos, 1972, Shiraz Arts Festival. Pictured: pianists Alfons Kontarsky and Aloys Kontarsky. Photo courtesy of Stockhausen-Stiftung für Musik / Archaeology of the Final Decade Archives.

An exhibition and series of live performances and film screenings revisit the multicultural Shiraz Arts Festival, which was held annually in Iran from 1967 to 1977. With music, theater, dance, and film programming, the festival showcased classical, folk, and avant-garde artists spanning generations, languages, and cultures. Building on Center-supported research on effective ways to present this under-recognized history, the project examines the festival’s artistic achievements along with the social and political complexities of its time. The exhibition is bookended by a performance-installation “spectacle” featuring an interpretation of Iannis Xanakis’ electroacoustic composition Persepolis and a closing concert “fête” inclusive of a wide variety of performers.

The total grant amount represents project funding plus an additional 20% in unrestricted general operating support.